A Mumbai court on Thursday granted bail to 19-year-old Akash Suyal, one of the accused persons in a case registered by Mumbai Police for posting derogatory statements against Muslim women on the Clubhouse app, the Bar and Bench reported.
Suyal submitted before the court that he has not made any verbal or written derogatory statement against any women, Live Law reported. He added that he was being made a scapegoat for acts committed by other persons.
On January 20, the Mumbai Police arrested Suyal along with two others – Jaishnav Kakkar (21) and Yash Parashar (22) under the Indian Penal Code sections that provide punishment for promoting enmity on religious grounds, acts intended to outrage religious feelings, sexual harassment and stalking.
The arrest was made after two women filed a complaint saying they were being defamed after their photographs were circulated on the Clubhouse app’s chatroom, the Bar and Bench reported.
Clubhouse is a social audio application on which users can listen in on chat sessions and discussions depending upon their topics of interest.
Suyal, Kakkar and Parashar, all Haryana residents, allegedly had participated in the online conversation on the topic, “Muslim gals are more beautiful than Hindu gals”.
On February 1, a Mumbai court granted bail to Parashar on certain conditions, one of which included him going for a 15-day mandatory behavioural counselling.
On Thursday, a Mumbai court directed Suyal to undergo counselling as well, the Live Law reported.
Suyal had approached the Metropolitan Magistrate’s court with a bail application filed under Section 437 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
He prayed for parity with Parashar, the co-accused in the case, who is already out on bail, the Bar and Bench reported.
Suyal also submitted that investigation against him had been concluded and that any further custody will destroy his future.
This is not the first time that a social app is used to display pictures of Muslim women.
Two apps, Sulli Deals and Bulli Bai, were created in July and January, respectively.
Both “Bulli” and “Sulli” are derogatory terms used to refer to Muslim women. The creators of the apps were accused of putting Muslim women up for sale.
On Monday, a Delhi court granted bail on humanitarian grounds to Niraj Bishnoi and Omkareshwar Thakur – both accused in the Sulli Deals and Bulli Bai apps case.
The accused men were first-time offenders and their continued incarceration would be detrimental to their overall wellbeing, a Delhi court had said.